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back to article Microsoft KILLS Windows 8.1 Update 2 and Patch Tuesday

Microsoft has at last revealed the date when its second major update to Windows 8.1 will ship to customers: never. Despite months of speculation that the software giant has been planning to push out another major update roll-up for its latest OS this year, much like it did with the oddly named Windows 8.1 Update in April, …

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And meanwhile in Munich…

They run "Windows? Nein!"

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Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

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SVV

Oh come on, don't be too hard on them

After all, as a gazillion dollar company with thousands of the finest IT professionals on our dear planet, it's only going to take them another year to retrofit the Start menu into their operating system.

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Re: Oh come on, don't be too hard on them

You mean, their equivalent of `git revert` takes that long?

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Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

Nine? That many?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

"And meanwhile in Munich…

They run "Windows? Nein!""

Actually yes they still do for various specific things. Even after ten years of migrations they still have to support 2 environments!

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Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

Actually they DO run Windows. Tons of Citrix clients, WINE and other crutches because a sizeable amount of the needed software does not run under Linux.

There is a reason they have double the permanent IT staff of compareable german cities

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Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

"WINE and other crutches"

As you well know, WINE can be required because many software companies can't be bothered to produce Linux versions.

Strange that Firefox, Thunderbird, Opera, GoogleEarth, Chrome, Skype, Open/Libre Office and others seem to be able to manage that.

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Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

We are not talking "mass market" software here but specialist packages for city jobs. Those have a small licence base and are programmed based on customer request and profiles. If 99 cities say "Windows" and one says "Linux" the latter has to pay for each and every change it needs. And if the software needs certifications/checks - you pay fully for those as well unlike the other 99 who "share" the costs at least partially.

And that assumes the software is written in a language that runs on Linux. Let's face it, if my main customer base is "Windows" there is no reason NOT to use the latest versions of C# and .NET (and no, Mono is NOT a substitute since they are n, n > 1, versions behind). I did some work for power companies and they demanded "native Windows software". Well, I programm what is payed and since Windows software is payed well, I do that.

And all that is before we add the "financed by others" (OO) element and the "let's hook the trade goods so we can rip of their data" (Chrome, G-Stuff) elements.

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Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

"We are not talking "mass market" software here"

I've had plenty of experience in specialist scientific software packages with a VERY limited user base. Companies still managed, in many case to produce Linux/Mac/Windows versions although often Linux/Mac versions were only available as Windows wasn't deemed stable enough - this is Win2000 time.

"if my main customer base is "Windows" there is no reason NOT to use the latest versions of C# and .NET"

Then Windows is not your MAIN customer base its your ONLY customer base and by definition you are biased.

As for the nonsense that is your last paragraph

-

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Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

Yawn. Those companies did offer that software because - CUSTOMER DEMAND! No companie that want's to stay in business and earns it's money through software would do stuff "because somewhere in the 1.4 percent user base one might be interested".

I am not doing .NET as my main job, 80+ percent in the last 10+ years where JAVA, quite a bit J2EE. But if a customer is paying - I can do C# as well. Or PHP. Heck, I even do Fortran if I am payed. Mercenary all the way.

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Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

"because many software companies can't be bothered to produce Linux versions."

You mean because there is no demand / market and people tend to expect everything for free on an Open Source platform.

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Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

"You mean because there is no demand / market"

There's not likely to be a market if people can't be ar*ed to produce the goods. (Google "Chicken & egg" - you seem to have sufficient expertise with computers ). Plenty of commercial software for Android BTW.

The scientific software I was referring to below (closed source for Linux) was VERY, VERY expensive but did the job - no problem spending the money. If some commercial software was actually significantly better than the free and/or open-source alternatives I'd have no problems spending on that. As it is I just donate.

Getting back to Munich, they have it on record that one of the main drivers to go open-source was to have control of their future, saving money was a bonus.They just didn't want to be locked-in to Microsoft's vision of the world. Can't blame them for that. As for mmeier's comment about their spend on support - well, if true, they can certainly afford it with all that they are saving

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Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

We are talking

FULL time staff in germany! Where the taxes/healthcare etc. can easily be as high as the money you pay out to your employee.

Still having to pay for Windows/MS Office/Citrix because they can not get rid of it

Maintaining their own distribution

They are definitly NOT saving money. What little they saved on licences (and no 1000+ units customer pays list price) they more than spend on personal.

==================

As for chicken&egg: WHY should a company spend considerable manpower on writing software that no one asks for. We are NOT talking MS or SAP here, more the 50-500 employees range of software houses that offer "general base package + tailoring". So as said before:

IF München wants a Linux version, than München has to order it and pay for it as well as for the additonal maintenance requirements. I am sure if the money is right the companies will take the job. Granted, it WILL cost a lot more than the MS Licences for Office up to Office 2033 and therefor may NOT fit in the LiMux plans.

And if München wants that software to be general available - put that in the contract. The software houses LOVE that. One customer to pay for dev and every "extra" however (un)likely is a bonus

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Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

"IF München wants a Linux version, than München has to order it and pay for it "

I think they've done that and are happy with it The only unhappy people seem to be Microsoft and their sycophants

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Re: And meanwhile in Munich…

No they have not. Otherwise they wouldn't need all those Citrix systems, Windows servers and WINE crutches. Ordering a Linux version of the software packages would have been very costly and LiMux preferred to hide most of the extra costs in ther personal budget instead of showing them in the software budget.

Other cities like Freiburg where smarter and checked the software costs BEFORE the migration. After the costs where tallied - they went with the solution that was cheaper.

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When third parties have the ability to change program code on a weekly basis effective configuration management and testing become impossible. Security patches (many of which I'm convinced would not be required if sound software design practices were followed) are arguably necessary. Extending the scope of the changes to include updates to the Applications is going to produce chaos.

It was bad enough having to try to figure out where MS had hidden the start/shut down button when they moved from W7 to W8. The demand for novelty and constant change has one inescapable effect. If an existing function is optimal, change can only degrade it. I can just imagine the fun of trying to figure out where they have hidden different functions on a week to week basis.

Whatever happened to "do it right the first time" and "If it ain't broke, don't fix it?"

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"effective configuration management and testing become impossible."

Are you talking in a personal and/or small business context? Then maybe, but only if you have your update settings set to automatically download and install all updates.

In an enterprise environment proper change management of software updates and testing can easily be managed. Turn off automatic updates in Windows and all your other software and deploy all your updates and patches with either a simple WSUS set up for purely MS updates or with even greater granularity and support for deploying other application updates using SCCM.

You can't complain about Microsoft's update release strategy causing chaos if you don't use the available tools to manage it. Default automatic installation of all updates is only really a suitable approach for individual and small group users who don't care about managing their environment and experience.

Don't want to check what each update does before installing? Just stick to only installing security updates, which can easily be done, as these rarely have any impact on UI/UX.

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Do you honestly believe that Joe Sixpack would understand a single sentence of that? There is where this will be a huge problem.

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"PS if anyone here knows Sinofsky, tell him he's a cunt."

Oy! None of that, young-feller-me-lad. Cunts are useful,

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I suspect that the next step from this will be to remove the separation between feature updates and security updates. That will make development easier, and going forward, MS' internally perceived competition is rather more nimble than they are.

If they don't do this, testing a growing complexity of interaction between different levels of installation of security updates and UI/feature updates will become a huge problem. Look at the way they're dropping support for 8.1 pre update 1 - they're trying to manage the variety of system configurations they need to test against.

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"I suspect that the next step from this will be to remove the separation between feature updates and security updates"

Won't happen, simply because of the rage it would cause from Microsoft's large corporate cash cow customers, many of whom will only ever install security updates.

At worst they may remove the separation between them in the Home efitions of Windows, but I don't see it happening in Professional and Enterprise or Server editions.

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@Will Godfrey

Have an up vote, but remember some admins out there could give two flying fucks about home/non-enterprise users.

I know it's only Wednesday, but have a pint too!

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It's not that I don't care about home users, on the contrary. It's just that I haven't yet met a home user who was excessively baffled or inconvenienced by any cosmetic or functional updates delivered to them either automatically or through them clicking to accept them.

I frequently support a number of largely computer illiterate friends and family who mostly managed to use Windows 8 (moving from Windows 7) with no great problems, just some minor grumbles about it being different, they were perfectly happy with it within a month.

Moving from 8 to 8.1, caused them even less grief, they barely noticed the Start button had been added, but they did start using it. Similarly with 8.1 Update 1, they noticed no difference and it caused them no problems.

For the type of person incapable or uninterested in managing and monitoring their updates at home, installing them all automatically will generally not cause them any problem, but may well offer them some performance or security benefits.

For non-home users their are a variety of tools and methodologies available for managing updates.

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Anonymous Coward

"When third parties have the ability to change program code on a weekly basis effective configuration management and testing become impossible."

Linux seems to cope OK - but yes configuration management, update release coordination and testing do rather suck with many distros compared to Windows.

"Whatever happened to .... "If it ain't broke, don't fix it?"

People got an education? There is no such word as "ain't" and you mean 'broken'

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That's a pack of codswallop. Even with the 'smartest' tools like MS SCCM, System Center Service Manager and all the other collateral that Microsoft throw at us in the name of 'configuration management', most folks wouldn't have a scooby how an impacts their environment. WSUS gives you the right to 'choose' what to update if you have an on-site instance and Service Manager and SCCM are dumb to the updates apart from their file extension and any wrapper that goes around them.

And 'choosing' means 'deciding not to' in some cases for an update. Great! you know that you don't know what you're missing.

I love Linux (which makes me a rabid, jihadist monk who talks in binary and awk) which comes in major builds (and stable LTS versions) which means every time I run a big update, it's all taken care of. Oh and I can have whatever interface I choose. Including Unity, which makes Metro look like a Fisher Price toy.

meh.

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Linux Update

@Phil_Evans agree with 99% of what you're saying. The only thing that routinely breaks for me with those Linux updates is Flash. But I gave up expecting an easy life from flash a very long time ago.

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Childcatcher

Security patches ... are arguably necessary. Extending the scope of the changes to include updates to the Applications is going to produce chaos.

Not applications, the UI is where the problem is. Applications can have security issues too or have additional functionality added without causing much in the way of distress, but if the entire menu system is rearranged (e.g. drop-downs for ribbon) there might be a bit of trouble. Decouple functionality from cosmetics and things will get a lot better for all.

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"PS if anyone here knows Sinofsky, tell him he's a c*nt." Oy! None of that, young-feller-me-lad. C*nts are useful,

Lol, you're right. I shouldn't have lowered the tone.

I just have a lot of suppressed rage against the idiot that made making a living from windows software that bit harder.

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"Won't happen, simply because of the rage it would cause from Microsoft's large corporate cash cow customers, many of whom will only ever install security updates."

How would you describe the new IE patch/release/support policy then? There's Enterprise mode as a mitigation, but I suspect it won't be 100% - even the MS web site describing it says " designed to emulate Internet Explorer 8,"

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How long until a functional update

...bricks millions of machines?

I betting within 6 months.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How long until a functional update

Have a word with Paddy Power or Ladbrokes - I'm sure they'll be happy to help you put your money where you mouth is.

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Re: How long until a functional update

I'd take a piece of that, and say within 3 months.

And secondly, how loud will J. Q. Public howl when his computer starts changing random functions every month?

(Watch India's employment soar as tech calls from the masses go through the roof!)

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Re: How long until a functional update

(Watch India's employment soar as tech calls from the masses go through the roof!)

You expected the new CEO to not look after his pal's back home?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How long until a functional update

"How long until a functional update

...bricks millions of machines?

I betting within 6 months."

Linux seems to manage OK with a far less organised and more chaotic update system in many cases. Seeing as Microsoft patches get fully integration and regression tested unlike many Linux updates, they shouldnt be any worse...

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Re: How long until a functional update

"Linux seems to manage OK with a far less organised and more chaotic update system in many cases. Seeing as Microsoft patches get fully integration and regression tested unlike many Linux updates, they shouldnt be any worse..."

Please stop commenting on Linux until you actually have some real experience to back up your claims, because they certainly don't line up with my own experience.

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Facepalm

Microsoft: The comedy gift

That just keeps on giving.

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Re: Microsoft: The comedy gift

More like a cattle prod with a really large battery. Set to nuisance.

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Re: Microsoft: The comedy gift

nada .. la

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Broke

@Hargrove - 'Whatever happened to "do it right the first time" and "If it ain't broke, don't fix it?"'

"do it right first time"!!! You mean you have never used any Microsoft software, or to be honest any software of any substance. If software suppliers produced cars it would look like a CV2 and arrive with no wheels, you would never be able to trade it in as you don't actually own it.

It is broke and they are struggling to fix it :-( The only issue as I see it is that Microsoft's definition of broke is somewhat different to yours and mine.

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Re: Broke

> "do it right first time"!!! You mean you have never used any Microsoft software, or to be honest any software of any substance.

Some of us remember Veritas software. That was an excellent example that showed it was possible to produce rock solid software. The trouble is that marketing wins over engineering, e.g Oracle vs. Ingres, Shimano vs. Campagnolo, Bose versus Gale. Marketing people don't believe that a design can ever be optimal.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Broke

You mean Veritas that produced NetBackup? The most useless and unreliable backup software ever written.

I don't think you could have chosen a worse example of rock solid software.

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Re: Broke

"It is broke and they are struggling to fix it :-( The only issue as I see it is that Microsoft's definition of broke is somewhat different to yours and mine."

My definition (and the dictionary's) of 'broke' as an adjective is out of of money. You must have had a sadly lacking education as you obviously meant 'broken'...

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Re: Broke

Yes I do mean that Veritas, the one bought by Symantec a decade ago. 'nuff said?

Thankfully, the core of NetBackup is still rock solid, but I was thinking more about the Veritas Filesystem and Volume Manager as shining examples of the way code should be written.

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Re: Broke

hang on a minute I'm not having that EMC Networker holds that title!

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WTF?

"allow you to leave your touchpad active even when a mouse is connected"

You what? I never even considered that that might be a problem needing an update.

My laptops, going back to an old but venerable Tosh SatPro PIII to a current SatPro, via a couple of Dells, has always allowed use of the touchpad and mouse at the same time. Of course, they were all running one version or another of Xubuntu.

On the other hand, I've certainly used WinXP and later with two mice plugged in and/or two keyboards on a desktop PC, either or both of which can be used.

Am I missing something about this update? Are MS talking about two independantly controlled pointers on screen?

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Re: "allow you to leave your touchpad active even when a mouse is connected"

Are MS talking about two independantly controlled pointers on screen?

I can't see any possibility of that causing confusion.

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